Baking is an exact science. A chemical reaction needs to occur for the recipe to work. Cooking is the opposite. Its a little of this and a pinch of that. Cooking can change with your mood, what you have available, or who will be eating it. Thats what I love.
I am a touchy feely feel good person, and so is my food. I make a recipe as it appears the first time. I take it for a test drive and make it pretty much as it appears in print…but that is just a starting point! Then I drive it my way! Then I grab my pen and add notes. My cookbooks are filled with notes of how recipes turned out, what changes to make, and if it should be made again. And everyone should know this little secret…when looking through someone’s cherished cookbooks, the pages with drips, dribbles and stains on them contain a very special recipe! that is a dead give away that a recipe on that page has been used many times! Mine are certainly that way. I would like to think that these books will be cherished many years after I am gone and that it is what my kids will fight over…but I digress!
I write these notes next to the actual recipe. I also have a 3 ring binder in case I print a recipe off of the internet. I can 3 hole punch a printed page or a ripped out magazine recipe and add it in…if it is deemed worthy! Cooking takes experience, and it can be a little scary to begin. I get a little mad if I make a dish that does not turn out and my ingredients and efforts are wasted. But wasted is the wrong word to use. When you learn something, it is not time wasted! Just have a backup plan in the freezer to pull out just in case!
I understand that it can be a little intimidating to begin cooking. But do it anyway. You know the old saying that everyone should ask themselves…”What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?”. Get over your fear and start having fun! When starting, try a recipe that does not have expensive or complicated ingredients. Then jump in and go for it! Have fun! And don’t forget to add your own personal touch! Feel the love! Give your self and your family a little of yourself.